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School: Palm Beach Central High School, Florida, USA
Studied: Cambridge International AS Levels in English Language and Literature, Geography, General Paper, Sociology and US History, Cambridge International A Level Economics, and Cambridge International AS & A Levels in Biology, Marine Science and English Language
Went on to: A degree in Cognitive Neuroscience at Brown University, USA, including a year at the University of Oxford, UK
Career plans: A career in medicine, either in the military or overseas working for a not-for-profit
At Palm Beach Central High School, Celinie Nguyen studied an impressive nine different subjects, a mixture of sciences and humanities, for her Cambridge International AS & A Level qualifications. ‘I chose the subjects I was interested in and which I also hoped to study in college,’ said Celinie. ‘They were also subjects I knew would challenge me and develop specific academic skills such as writing – essential for any course of study.’
Having decided to focus on science, Celinie gained a place at Brown University – a prestigious Ivy League college – to study for a degree in Cognitive Neuroscience. Her Cambridge International qualifications gave her subject advancement, which meant she did not have to take introductory courses and could therefore reduce the length of her studies.
Celinie feels that her Cambridge studies prepared her well for this step change in academic challenge. 'At school I really developed my writing ability, and I also had to gain a deep understanding – and undertake a greater analysis - of the subjects I was studying,' she said.
‘I would recommend Cambridge qualifications to all students, especially those interested in science.’
'To prepare for Cambridge exams, I had to grasp both straightforward information and the ‘bigger picture’, understanding how individual topics were interwoven, and then had to use this knowledge and evidence to construct strong arguments and well-balanced and organised papers. These skills have proved to be extremely valuable when working on my university assessments as I can determine the implications of the topics I’m studying, and identify real-world connections.'
As part of her degree, Celinie is taking part in the Visiting Student Programme at Oxford University in the UK. ‘I’m studying Experimental Psychology for a year,’ said Celinie, ‘and I still find that the academic skills I gained at high school are vital for my studies – possibly even more so as the Oxford system is heavily focused on writing, and also prioritises analysis and independent thought.'
Celinie plans to graduate in 2021 and then to matriculate into Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School. 'I want to gain a medical degree and potentially a Master’s in public health or primary care population health,’ she said. 'I then plan to practise as a doctor either in the military or possibly for a not-for-profit organisation working in countries with limited access to healthcare.'
Cambridge International has made a positive impact on Celinie’s academic career. ‘I would recommend Cambridge qualifications to all students, especially those interested in science,' she continued.'Being able to write and communicate complex ideas are necessary skills in all fields - they allow you to share your ideas with the world and there is little point in making an academic or scientific breakthrough if others cannot understand or access your work. Academia can be very challenging, so take any steps you can to increase your access to the world of learning.'